Want to save money on car insurance in Maryland?
Car Insurance in Maryland
Maryland Car Insurance
When registering your car in Maryland, your car insurance ID card will not be accepted as proof of insurance. Instead, your car insurance carrier will provide you with a Maryland Insurance Certification that you must sign and submit along with your registration.
Read more to learn about MD car insurance laws, programs, rates, and discounts.
Car Insurance Requirements in MD
In order to comply with Maryland car insurance laws, you must purchase all of the following:
- Liability coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Injury protection (PIP or no-fault) coverage.
Liability car insurance helps pay for damages or bodily injury resulting from a car accident for which you are at fault.
Your liability insurance must have the following minimums:
- $30,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $60,000 for total bodily injury, per accident.
- $15,000 for property damage.
While car insurance is required in Maryland, many drivers remain uninsured. Also, some insured drivers do not have adequate coverage to help pay for costs associated with car accidents.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps pay for your injuries and property damage when involved in a car accident caused by these drivers.
Maryland's required uninsured/underinsured coverage minimums equal those of liability coverage (see above).
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Maryland also requires you to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), also called no-fault car insurance.
PIP coverage will help pay for your medical costs after a car accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Once you have reached your PIP's limits, your health insurance may be able to cover additional costs.
If you are involved in a car accident caused by another driver, that driver's liability insurance is responsible for your medical costs even after your PIP goes into effect.
Since it is usually faster to file a claim under your own PIP, you can pay back your own PIP once your claim with the at-fault driver's insurance is processed.
The minimum limit for PIP in Maryland is $2,500.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage
In addition to the required car insurance coverages in Maryland, most auto insurance companies offer optional coverage types, including:
- Collision – Helps pay for accident-related damages to your car.
- Comprehensive – Helps pay for non-accident related damages to your car.
- Towing and labor.
- Rental car.
NOTE: While Maryland law does not require it, you may be required to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage as part of a loan or lease agreement. If you neglect to purchase required coverage, it might be purchased for you (see below).
If your car is being financed and you fail to purchase collision and comprehensive coverages as per your loan agreement requirements, your lender may purchase these coverage types and charge you for them.
This is called forced-placed insurance, and it can be considerably more expensive than shopping for and purchasing car insurance on your own.
Proof of Maryland Insurance
The MVA only accepts Maryland Insurance Certification forms as proof of insurance. They will not accept an insurance card or other insurance documents.
When registering your car with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), you must submit a signed Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19) acknowledging that you will maintain at least the minimum Maryland car insurance requirements.
The FR-19 can only be obtained through your insurance company and:
- Is valid for 30 days.
- Is free.
- Can be faxed or e-mailed to the MVA by your insurance company.
You cannot submit a photocopy of your FR-19 to the MVA.
Insurance Violations & Penalties
The MVA monitors car insurance status electronically with Maryland car insurance companies.
Your insurance carrier is required to report any cancellations or lapses in coverage to the MVA.
When the MVA is notified of any changes in your car insurance status, they will send you a request for your Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19).
If you are found driving without insurance, you face the following penalties:
- Suspension of your:
- $150 fine for the first 30 days of not having car insurance.
- $7 fine for each additional day.
- Suspended privileges to register or renew any car until your violations are cleared.
- $30 registration restoration fee once your insurance violations have been cleared.
If you are caught providing a false proof of insurance, you face:
- 1 year of imprisonment.
- A $1000 fine.
Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund
While car insurance is mandatory in Maryland, drivers with poor driving records may have difficulty finding a car insurance company willing to provide coverage.
If you cannot find car insurance through the open market, you can apply for car insurance through the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF).
The Maryland legislature created the MAIF to help provide high-risk drivers with car insurance coverage. All funding comes from the premiums paid to the MAIF. No state money goes towards the MAIF.
Visit the MAIF website for more information on applying for high-risk car insurance.
Because insurance can be complex, the Maryland Insurance Administration offers consumer support to help with various car insurance issues that may arise, including:
- Resolving an insurance dispute.
- Reporting insurance fraud.
Maryland offers two avenues to assist with disputes you may have with your insurance company:
- Rapid response.
- Written complaint.
Rapid Response Program
The Rapid Response Program is meant to assist with claims as quickly as possible without requiring you to file an official complaint. For more information, call one of the following numbers:
- (410) 468-2340.
- (800) 492-6116.
To submit an official written complaint, you can:
- File online at the Maryland Insurance Administration website.
- Download a property and casualty complaint form and mail it to:
Maryland Insurance Administration
Attn: Consumer Complaint Investigation – Property/ Casualty
200 Saint Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
- Fax a property and casualty complaint form to (410) 468-2334 or (410) 468-2307.
You may also submit a written letter to the address above. Be sure to include:
- Daytime and evening phone numbers.
- Insurance information:
- Company name.
- Policy number.
- Name of any other insurance company involved in the complaint.
- A detailed explanation of the issue.
- Copies of any relevant documents.
Car Insurance Fraud
Car insurance companies spend a large sum of money dealing with insurance fraud. Those costs get passed down to you through increases in your premium.
Car insurance fraud often involves:
- Staging car accidents.
- Falsifying or exaggerating:
- Property damage.
To help fight car insurance fraud and help keep premiums low, you can report suspected fraud to the Maryland Insurance Administration by:
- Calling (800) 846-4069.
- Completing a property and casualty complaint and submitting it:
- By fax: (410) 347-5350.
- By mail:
Maryland Insurance Administration
200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
The MIA allows you to report insurance fraud anonymously.
The MIA provides a complete Consumer Guide to Insurance Fraud for anyone looking for more detailed information on this topic.
Determining Your MD Car Insurance Rates
Several factors go into determining the cost of your car insurance premium in Maryland.
When shopping for auto insurance, remember that most Maryland car insurance companies will factor in the following to determine your rates:
- Your car's:
- Driving record.
- Marital status.
- Credit history.
- Your out-of-pocket expenses towards a claim.
- The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
MD Insurance Discounts
Taking advantage of discounts is a great way to save on car insurance. When comparing car insurance quotes, ask about any discounts you can apply towards your premium.
Most Maryland car insurance companies offer the following discounts:
- Multi-car discount.
- Homeowner's discount.
- Good student discount.
- Safety device discount.
- Anti-theft device discount.
While discounts can help you obtain low car insurance rates, the best way to save on car insurance is to maintain a good driving record that reflects safe and violation-free driving.
Most Stolen Cars in Maryland
If your car is highly targeted for theft, you may face higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of Maryland's most stolen cars in 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Dodge Caravan.
- Honda Accord.
- Toyota Camry.
- Honda Civic.
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Nissan Altima.
- Toyota Corolla.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Chrysler Town & Country.
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